Tony Johnson

Partner

Litigation

DDI:+64 9 300 7619

MOB:+64 21 499 406

Email:awj@martellimckegg.co.nz

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Capabilities

Litigation
Insolvency
Trust and estate litigation

"I aim to resolve disputes as quickly and cost effectively as possible."
Tony is able to grasp essential issues quickly and then decide the best way forward. His vast experience in commercial litigation enables him to make qualified and practical decisions.

"I aim to resolve disputes as quickly and cost effectively as possible."

Tony is able to grasp essential issues quickly and then decide the best way forward. His vast experience in commercial litigation enables him to make qualified and practical decisions.

Insolvency and Creditors Remedies

Tony works closely with leading insolvency practitioners and acts for receivers and corporate clients. His practice includes:

  • Assisting in liquidations and receiverships
  • Personal and corporate proposals and schemes and arrangements. Working with clients to put together court approved payment plans to pay creditors over time
  • Mortgagee sales and enforcement of other securities including guarantees and caveats
  • Representing clients in court to argue their payment priority in creditor disputes
Examples of insolvency work
  • Successfully represented liquidators against claim by IRD for special priority payment within a liquidation
  • Assisting debtors to obtain Court approval of their debt compromise proposals
  • Representing a lessor to enable it to recover where liquidators argued that they were disentitled due to surrender of the lease and the effects of a disclaimer
  • Acting for leading Australian insolvency practitioners to recover New Zealand held assets for the benefit of a bankrupt estate in Australia

Trusts and estates disputes

This is an area of law where emotions can run high. Tony's direct approach will help find a way through the emotional and legal complexities of any dispute. He works alongside the firm's very experienced private client team Lewis Grant, Catherine Atchison and Angus Rogers. He represents trustees, beneficiaries, executors and other interested parties.

  • Challenge to trustees' decisions
  • Potential removal of trustees
  • Undisclosed principle doctrine in relation to trustees' actions
  • Trustees' liabilities
  • Family Protection action
  • Testamentary promises
  • Determination of validity of Wills
Examples of trust law work
  • Brought action against the trustees of a Maori Land Trust so as to establish their personal liability
  • Successfully opposed claim by trust on basis that trustees had not unanimously entered into transaction
  • Secured increased inheritance for children who had received inadequate provision under their mother's Will
  • Acting for discretionary beneficiaries under a multi-million dollar trust dispute relating to how the trustees made decisions on distributions.  Negotiated settlement resulting in the bringing forward of the final distribution date and substantial distributions being received by our clients
  • Expert advice to institutional trustee in relation to the status and powers of an advisory trustee

Recent cases

Jennings Roadfreight Limited (In Liq) v Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2014] NZSC 160

Tomich v Estate of Jean Theresa Tomich & Tomich [2014] NZFC 3736

Singleton v Singleton [2012] NZHC 3320

Manukamed Investors v Salem Charitable Trust & Anor, HC MAS CIV 2010-435-243

Memberships

RITANZ, the leading insolvency industry group within New Zealand. (Former committee member)

Biography

Tony joined the firm in 1998, becoming a litigation partner in 2002. Tony was admitted as a lawyer in 1987. He previously worked with the Ministry of Justice, Commercial Affairs Division before joining Martelli McKegg in 1998. When not busy working on clients' litigation disputes he is an avid sports fan.

Articles

Unreasonable costs won't wash

Freeze those assets

Personal bankruptcy: is it possible to not lose everything?

Liquidators and Ponzi schemes

Supreme victory for liquidators and employees - Jennings Roadfreight v Commissioner of Inland Revenue

Court steps up focus on action of trustees

Less wriggle room when wrong decision made by trustee

Half of yours is mine (the next chapter)

Some hope for creditors

Into the void(able) transaction

Further warning to passive trustees